Restaurant: Lure Fishbar – 142 Mercer Street, Manhattan, New York
Want to feel like you’re eating fresh seafood in the cabin of a luxury yacht despite being nestled away in the heart of SoHo? If so, head to Lure Fishbar where they make that experience a reality seven days a week.
The interior of Lure Fishbar is modeled to evoke the look and feel of a cabin from a luxury yacht. Wood paneling, portholes and a slew of marine accents combine to form one incredible theme. Looking around, if I didn’t know I was in New York City, I would have sworn I was floating out on the high seas.
The menu at Lure Fishbar is expansive. It spans everything from your more traditional seafood fare, including a sizeable raw oyster bar, to sushi. There were a bunch of us at the table, so we ordered from across the menu. A sample of what we had:
- Crispy calamari: smoked chili glaze
- Grilled baby octopus: saffron-potato, fennel, pickled carrots, guajillo
- Tuna tacos
- Seared branzino: pancetta, broccoli rabe, Manilla clams, garlic broth
- Nori crusted tuna: garlic fried rice, Chinese broccoli, citrus emulsion
- Double chocolate peanut butter pie:
peanut brittle ice cream & chocolate covered pretzel
- Warm chocolate cake: salted caramel ice cream, caramel popcorn & chocolate pudding
Everything – from the appetizers to the entrees to the desserts – was presented perfectly. The kitchen at Lure didn’t shy away from using colors to brighten the various dishes and nearly everything had some highlight of color in it.
At first glance, I thought the calamari was going to be very heavy and weighed down by the chili glaze. However, looks are deceiving and I was pleasantly surprised at how light it was. The fish tacos were equally as good. The shell was similar to a fried wonton and it was exploding with fresh tuna. This was topped with a wasabi puree, but don’t worry, it didn’t add much spice to the dish.
The seared branzino was double the seafood for one price. A filet of branzino was laid on top of broccoli rabe and placed in a broth filled with clams. The branzino had a mild flavor, as expected. Surprisingly, my favorite part of this dish wasn’t the fish itself, but the clams and garlic broth instead. I loved dipping bread to soak up the garlicky broth.
While the branzino was good, the hit of the night was the nori crusted tuna. If I could do it all again, I would order this as my entree in a heartbeat. Tuna, cooked nice and rare, was wrapped in nori which appeared to have been lightly fried. The taste was incredible – contrasting between the cold interior tuna and the warmer nori on the outside. A great mix of flavors and presentation.
Dessert didn’t disappoint either. I mean, how can peanut butter, chocolate and a pretzel fall flat? The peanut butter pie was covered in a very thick layer of chocolate and the pretzel provided the salty addition to make this my ideal dessert.
The service was as you’d expect at any seafood restaurant or steakhouse – attentive and prompt. Our waitress took time to walk us through the menu and answer our questions while making sure we were well taken care of the entire night.
You’re eating at a seafood restaurant in the city, what do you expect? The prices are on the high side – $14 for calamari, $31 for seared branzino, $32 for nori crusted tuna. I’m one of those people that doesn’t understand how seafood restaurants or steakhouses get away with charging these types of prices. However, they’re in line with your typical seafood restaurants and the food was delicious. Lure is definitely a restaurant for special occasions.
Lure Fishbar was a fun place to eat. Across the board, our food was delicious. The added bonus was the interior. The team at Lure did an incredible job making it truly feel like you’re eating while drifting miles off the coast in a luxury yacht. The prices are on the high side, but the service and food is there to back it up. Lure won’t be on my short list of regular places I go, but I will consider it for special occasions.